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Can crowd funding help scale up solar power for Africa's poor?
26 April 2017 - When Ronald Van Harten arrived in Kenya from the Netherlands in 2015 he was determined to invest in solar-powered equipment for homes across Africa, make a profit, and help the rural poor get energy. But within two years his company EcoZoom . . . ran into financial difficulties. So, like a number of new technology companies seeking to scale up their programs in Africa, he turned to a crowd funding company. ...TRINE, a Swedish company which raised funds for EcoZoom, has a community of about 1,000 young investors in northern Europe willing to each give a minimum of 25 euros ($27.14) to solar firms which aim to help the world's poorest. ...The firm has invested in countries including Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Senegal. (more)

Beyond light, solar startup seeks to plug in rural homes in Africa
6 April 2017 - Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes -- it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Home solar systems not only provide electricity to hard-to-reach households, but do so at a far lower cost than using diesel or kerosene for energy. Swapping kerosene for home solar energy can cut African families' spending on lighting to two percent from nine percent of their household income, according to a 2016 report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a UK-based think-tank. (more)

Solar-powered Africa 'never more possible and less expensive': energy chief
20 February 2017 - A 'solar revolution' is coming to Africa, comparable in scale and importance to the rapid surge in mobile phone use on the continent two decades ago, predicts the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Fast-dropping costs for solar power, combined with plenty of sun and a huge need for electricity on a continent where many are still without it, means solar has huge potential in Africa, said Adnan Amin, the director general of IRENA. 'Africa's solar potential is enormous,' he said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. (more)

IBM to train 25 million Africans for free to build workforce
8 February 2017 - International Business Machines Corp. is ramping up its digital-skills training program to accommodate as many as 25 million Africans in the next five years, looking toward building a future workforce on the continent. The U.S. tech giant plans to make an initial investment of 945 million rand ($70 million) to roll out the training initiative in South Africa, a country where 31 percent of 15-to-24 year-olds are unemployed, according to Statistics South Africa. At the same time, the program will be started at IBM's offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt, enabling an expansion of the project across the rest of the continent. (more)

Carbon deposit in Congo swamp equal to 20 years of U.S. gas emissions: study
11 January 2017 - Scientists say a recently discovered area of peatland straddling the two Congos contains 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 20 years of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and must be protected to prevent major environmental damage. The British and Congolese teams, who made the discovery in 2014, say it is the largest known tropical peatland -- home to rare gorillas and forest elephants -- and in Wednesday's edition of Nature they say development there would release the gas. (more)

World's largest peatland with vast carbon-storage capacity found in Congo
11 January 2017 - Scientists have discovered the world's largest tropical peatland in the remote Congo swamps, estimated to store the equivalent of three year's worth of the world's total fossil fuel emissions. Researchers mapped the Cuvette Centrale peatlands in the central Congo basin and found they cover 145,500 sq km -- an area larger than England. The swamps could lock in 30bn tonnes of carbon that was previously not known to exist, making the region one of the most carbon-rich ecosystems on Earth. (more)

Medical smart jacket tackles misdiagnosis of pneumonia
1 January 2017 - Jacket would distinguish pneumonia's symptoms up to four times faster than a doctor, in battle against illness that kills half a million children under five in sub-Saharan Africa every year. Ugandan graduate Brian Turyabagye was studying engineering when his friend's grandmother fell seriously ill. . . . He watched as doctors diagnosed malaria and prescribed various treatments accordingly. [But she had pneumonia.] Turyabagye, 24, was so shocked . . . that he began researching methodologies for diagnosing pneumonia and its treatments. '... the signs for malaria and pneumonia are very similar, so it is difficult for health professionals to differentiate.' So Turyabagye began designing a biomedical smart jacket that would distinguish pneumonia's symptoms. (more)

Eight African home solar startups win $4 million in Scaling Off-Grid Energy Enterprise Grants
23 November 2016 - Launched by President Barack Obama in 2013, Power Africa is achieving unprecedented success in expanding access to electricity and spurring sustainable development across the African continent . . . Attending the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Marrakesh, Power Africa Coordinator Andrew M. Herscowitz on November 14 announced $4 million in new Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge Enterprise (SOGE) Grant awards for eight African startups that are preparing to launch or expand their presence in sub-Saharan Africa's fast-growing home solar energy market. It's anticipated that proceeds from the latest round of SOGE grants will create as many as 120,000 new off-grid solar electricity connections in African communities. (more)

USAID announces $4 million to solar start-ups for African off-grid energy
14 November 2016 - Marrakesh, Morocco - At the 22nd session of the UN Climate conference (COP 22), Power Africa Coordinator Andrew M. Herscowitz announced $4 million in new investments to eight companies that are revolutionizing household solar power across Africa through the Scaling Off-Grid Energy: Grand Challenge for Development. The Enterprise Awards are expected to create up to 120,000 additional connections in off-grid communities. 'The Grand Challenge for Development is designed to support innovators like these eight companies who are scaling up their inventions,' said Herscowitz. (more)

How Haidar el Ali became one of Africa's best-known environmentalists
20 October 2016 - At 25 years old, Haidar el Ali turned his passion for the environment into a vocation for life. To help fight against mangrove degradation, Ali, through Oceanium, organized massive replanting efforts with hundreds of villages in Casamance, where he is now based. This region is the greenest part of Senegal and was once referred to as the country's breadbasket, but it's been far from immune from environmental problems. Between 2006 and 2012, countless villagers helped replant about 35,000 acres in Casamance, and another 2,500 or so acres were replanted elsewhere in Senegal. It's one of the largest mangrove replanting efforts in the world. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories


From trauma to tranquility: Gaining inner peace and resilience
25 June 2017 - In African Warrior Magazine, David Shapiro, president of African PTSD Relief, and Krista Noble write about Julienne, who had lived a comfortable life with her family in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her world fell apart after soldiers stormed their home, and as a war refugee she suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 'I thought I could not go on living,' she says. Then Julienne had the opportunity to learn Transcendental Meditation (TM) through African PTSD Relief. Within 30 days she noticed a profound change. 'Now I can sleep again,' she says. TM 'uplifts me. I am happy to meditate. After I hear of a problem, in my next meditation, right away I feel myself relax and calm down. With TM, things are better. It helped me tremendously.' (more)

Dr David Leffler: An Unthwartable Counter-terrorism Defense
20 October 2016 - Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) is an advanced human resource-based military technology which produces a powerful peace-creating influence, neutralizing the buildup of stress in the national collective consciousness that fuels terrorism, war and crime. Scientific research has documented this effect created by groups practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques. When large assemblies of civilian IDT experts gathered during the years 1983 to 1985, terrorism-related casualties decreased 72 per cent, international conflict decreased 32 per cent, and overall violence was reduced in nations without intrusion by other governments. The current article featuring IDT's evidence-based military application appears in such publications as: African Prime News, African Herald Express, and Ghana Star; The Daily Guardian, Philippines; Vietnam's Asia Defense News; and Hirportal, Hungary. (more)

Africa: Founding member of Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars recognized as Next Einstein Forum Fellow
12 March 2016 - Dr Amanda Weltman has been recognized by the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), Africa's global forum for science, as one of 15 distinguished African scientists selected for this year's inaugural class of NEF Fellows. Known as 'trailblazers' representing the continent's rising class of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent, the Fellows were 'rigorously selected for their groundbreaking contributions to science'. In celebration of International Women's Day, the six women NEF Fellows were featured during the first NEF Global Gathering, last week in Dakar, Senegal. Dr Weltman, whose field is Theoretical Physics, holds the South African Research Chair in Physical Cosmology, University of Cape Town. A founding member of the Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars for a Better World, she has addressed and inspired all of its annual congresses in Holland and Switzerland. (more)

Institute for Excellence in Africa: Consciousness-Based solutions to critical problems
3 September 2015 - The Institute for Excellence in Africa was founded to identify and implement proven, prevention-oriented, forward-looking solutions to critical national, continental and global problems facing Africa. A key to change is the development of individual and collective consciousness so that it displays full creativity, intelligence and harmony. Without this fundamental awakening of human potential, the provision of mere economic assistance, infrastructure, and social systems will not be effective in solving the problems of poverty, sickness, conflict, and suffering found throughout Africa. The initiatives the Institute promotes include not just sustainable organic agriculture; natural prevention-oriented healthcare; balanced and fair economic development; and cultural integrity--but most importantly, Consciousness-Based Education to awaken the full potential of every individual. (more)

Africa: Voice of America TV reports on Transcendental Meditation and African PTSD Relief Now
7 May 2015 - Voice of America's 'Africa 54' TV show featured a live segment on the beneficial effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique in providing rapid relief from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among African refugees. Hosted by veteran health reporter Linord Moudou, the 7 May show included an explanation of post-traumatic stress disorder by eminent psychiatrist, researcher, and author Dr Norman Rosenthal, and an interview with David Shapiro, President of African PTSD Relief, about what Transcendental Meditation is, and a review of scientific research on TM and PTSD, including recent studies with African refugees. (more)

Voice of America hosts interview with African PTSD Relief
28 April 2015 - Voice of America 'Health Chat' featured news of the African PTSD Relief project on 28 April. Hosted by veteran reporter Linord Moudou, Health Chat is a live call-in programme that addresses health issues of interest to Africa. Congolese refugee Esperance Ndozi told her story of recovery from PTSD after learning Transcendental Meditation. Experts discussed recent research studies documenting the rapid and cost-effective approach offered by African PTSD Relief--teaching Transcendental Meditation to those suffering from PTSD. (more)

Will Transcendental Meditation become a standard treatment for posttraumatic stress?
2 January 2015 - In the conclusion of her recent article about the African PTSD Relief project, published in New Age Journal, Krista Noble considers the implications for current treatment of PTS (posttraumatic stress) in light of recent scientific research showing the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation in rapidly reducing severe PTS among Congolese refugees. 'If the scientific community pays attention to ongoing research, they cannot help but seriously consider Transcendental Meditation as an intervention to address posttraumatic stress,' commented neuroscientist Dr Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. (more)

Radio series on how Transcendental Meditation helps with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
23 November 2014 - In a special weekly series, 'Getting and Giving Relief from PTSD', Krystalya Marie of African radio A2Zen.fm, interviews scientists who are researching the effects of Transcendental Meditation on diverse groups suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (more)

Consciousness-Based Education in African countries
12 October 2014 - The Album of Events page of Global Good News is currently featuring a two-part series of beautiful photos from African countries, illustrating the visits of international experts in Consciousness-Based Education. Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, headed the tour and travelled through ten countries over six weeks, in regions where Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes for individual and societal health, Consciousness-Based Education, and world peace have been introduced during the last few years. (more)

'Preventing Future Boko Haram Attacks': Article on Invincible Defence Technology finds receptive audience in Africa and worldwide
11 June 2014 - An article titled 'Preventing Future Boko Haram Attacks', by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh and Dr. David Leffler, has appeared in an ever-increasing number of publications since it was first released last month. To date the article has been featured in nearly 100 locations worldwide--43 within Nigeria alone. The authors urge Nigerian leaders to immediately adopt the evidence-based approach of Invincible Defense Technology as an effective, scientifically validated means to reduce social stress, violence, and terrorism, and create lasting peace in their country. IDT requires creating a Prevention Wing of the military--a small portion of the armed forces of a country practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes, which published scientific research has shown to reduce crime and armed conflict and create social coherence. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Armed attacks on ships in West African waters rise: report
2 May 2017 - Armed attacks on ships in West African waters nearly doubled in 2016, with pirates increasingly focused on kidnapping their crew for ransom off Nigeria's coast, a report said on Tuesday (2 May). A recent spate of attacks off Somalia, meanwhile, may also indicate a resurgence of piracy in East Africa as a result of less vigilance, the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project said. OBP . . . recorded 95 attacks in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea in 2016, up from 54 the previous year. Cargo theft, once the main focus of piracy in the region, has given way to an increase in kidnappings, with 96 crew members taken hostage compared to 44 in 2015. (more)

2016 sets new record for asylum seekers reaching Italy by boat
28 November 2016 - The Central Mediterranean is once again the main migrant route into Europe, partly due to the chaos of civil war in Libya. More asylum seekers have now reached Italy by boat in 2016 than in any previous year on record. Europe's deterrent strategy has failed to cut migration in the central Mediterranean between Libya and Italy, with the Italian route once again becoming the main migrant gateway into Europe. (more)

Ebola after-effects threaten food shortages in West Africa: U.N.
3 August 2016 - Farmers in West Africa still reeling from the impact of Ebola, urgently need help or they could be forced to leave their farms to seek work elsewhere, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on Wednesday, 3 August. During the epidemic, many farmers in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia were unable to grow or sell their crops because of measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions, border closures, and quarantines, as well as fear of infection. Although the epidemic has ended officially, experts are concerned about its long-term effects on food production and agriculture in the region. (more)

AP Explains: Islamic extremists step up attacks in Africa
22 January 2016 - The number of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists is mounting across Africa, raising questions about the resurgence of armed groups once seen to be in decline. Here is a brief description of the attacks and an explanation of who was behind them and what is driving the surge. (more)

West Africa braces for more attacks after Burkina Faso siege
20 January 2016 - At the entrance to the King Fahd Palace hotel in Dakar, security guards inspect the trunks of every taxi at the gate, long before the vehicles get anywhere near the building itself. After the recent attacks on upscale hotels and restaurants in two other West African capitals, no one in the Senegalese capital [Dakar] is taking any chances. The violence in Bamako and Ouagadougou underscores how danger has moved from jihadist strongholds far in the desert to the very places where Westerners stay and eat while working in the region. In Senegal, there is a growing sense of vulnerability and an acknowledgement that security forces can only do so much. (more)

Thousands of Ebola survivors face severe pain, possible blindness
7 August 2015 - Thousands of West Africans who were infected with the Ebola virus but survived it are suffering chronic conditions such as serious joint pain and eye inflammation that can lead to blindness, global health experts said on Friday. Ebola survivors who fought off the most severe bouts of infection are the most likely to suffer ongoing medical problems, World Health Organization experts said, and their health is becoming 'an emergency within an emergency'. (more)

Ebola could hit again and we would hardly do better: MSF
14 June 2015 - The Ebola epidemic could flare up again in West Africa and health authorities are no better equipped to control it than they were a year ago, the head of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Saturday. 'The reality today is if Ebola were to hit on scale it did in August and September, we would hardly do much better than we did the last time around,' Joanne Liu said on the sidelines of a meeting on Ebola in Dakar. Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial nations vowed this week to wipe out the epidemic that has killed more than 11,100 people across West Africa, but offered little concrete action. (more)

Cash handoffs, extortion fuel Mediterranean trafficking
27 April 2015 - Fleeing war, persecution, and poverty, migrants desperate to reach Europe are paying thousands of dollars apiece to become pawns in a multimillion-dollar trafficking network that stretches from the Sahara to Sweden. By the thousands, they're handing themselves over to abusive smugglers who hold them hostage in wretched conditions in Libya until their families cough up the cash to fund their trips. Those payments fund treacherous trips across the Mediterranean that have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks. And even if migrants survive the crossing, the exploitation doesn't end there. 'Human trafficking has become such a lucrative business for criminal gangs around the world it's probably rivaling the drugs trade,' said Itayi Viriri of the International Organization for Migration. (more)

A look at the Islamic State group's reach into North Africa
16 February 2015 - The mass beheadings of Egyptian Christians by militants in Libya linked to the Islamic State group have thrown a spotlight on the threat the extremists pose beyond their heartland in Syria and Iraq, where they have established a self-declared proto-state. Militants in several countries -- including Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia -- have pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, although the degree of coordination and operational planning between IS leadership and the group's affiliates remains unclear. Here's a look at the Islamic State group's reach across North Africa, and how the extremists' growing presence is viewed across the Mediterranean Sea in Europe: (more)

Free from Ebola, survivors complain of new syndrome
4 February 2015 - There are a growing number of survivors of Ebola in West African, between 5,000 and 10,000 according to the United Nations, and some complain of side effects months after their recovery -- a condition some doctors are calling 'post-Ebola Syndrome' (PES). Ebola, which has killed almost 9,000 people across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, initially causes fever and vomiting, then attacks the immune system and vital organs, often causing internal and external bleeding. Some of those who have survived the disease report a mixture of symptoms after their recovery, including vision problems, joint pain, hair and memory loss, and anxiety attacks. Margaret Nanyonga, a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, said she had seen survivors go blind. Overall about half of those she saw recover reported declining health, she said. One doctor said some Ebola after-effects appear linked to the infection itself, with some patients developing symptoms similar to so-called autoimmune disorders -- where the immune system is over stimulated and begins to attack the body's own tissues. (more)

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